Where should I live?


Where should I live?

  • Taiwan
  • Malaysia (Penang)
  • Thailand
  • Mexico
  • Other Asian Country

0 voters

In a few years I will be financially independent enough to move back to Asia if I so choose. But where to live?

Visa issues aside, I am pretty sure that I could afford to live in almost any Asian Country ( except Japan), but the above choices are the ones that my wife and I have narrowed it down to. But which one offers the best “easy life”? This means, if I was to work, it would be for a maximum of 20 hours a week, which would be more to keep busy than anything else. And, money isn’t really a concern. Thoughts?


Don’t go to Malaysia. It’s a shit hole


I vote the Phillipines.


Thailand is super chill


I was waiting for your reply. I knew it would be quick, but not that quick!!! We will be in Penang in a couple of months to check it out, so I hope it is not similar to the experience you have had!!! But I have definitely kept your experience in mind for our consideration.


How did Mexico become an Asian country? I’m guessing it’s just because it’s nearby. Might want to think about those kidnappings of foreigners, etc. that occur there.

Read up on @Andrew0409’s long diatribe thread against Malaysia.

So, that leaves Taiwan and Thailand.
Live in south Taiwan or Taitung. Money will go very far.


Do you really want to live in a country where they openly discriminate against you?


I’d say Thailand or Mexico. Both are very reasonably priced and have excellent cuisines. If you like hot weather, go for Thailand. If you’re looking for more geographic variety, go for Mexico.


My vote goes to Danshui. Money goes far, yet close enough to Taipei to have access to the amenities anyone would want.


If I were in a position to retire I’d probably choose Vietnam. However, I’d be concerned about legal issues as my wife isn’t Vietnamese.


I live in Danshui part-time, and I wouldn’t recommend it. The food, in general, is terrible. And it’s a pretty boring place. Although it is conveniently located to get to a lot of scenic areas.


Mexico? If we are talking LA – Ecuador.

Great private health care (very affordable). Easy citizenship, tax exemptions, senior discounts on air tickets all through LA, etc. Amazing coastal, Amazon, high Andes ecosystems. You could live in a beachside apartment, a hacienda in the high Andes, or within the best preserved Spanish colonial architecture in Latin America in Quito. Or, if money is not a concern, you could get all of these places. Places such as Vilcabamba or Cuenca would be pretty cool. Cheap daily costs, lots of property/residential protections for foreigners, etc. The weather in the highlands is amazing!!!

My Taiwan wife liked it to. She loves her fruit and 10 passion fruit for 2 US is a good deal. She loved the markets.


I have thought about the Philippines. But the sex tourism really bothers my wife. Maybe it only is prevalent in the more touristy locations in the Philippines, I don’t know. I do know that in Thailand it is mostly only in the red light districts of specific cities/ towns, which is different than the Philippines, where I have seen it everywhere we have gone.


A few questions… are you and/or your wife Asian? Has your wife ever lived in Asia? Beside teaching English, what skills do you possess to keep yourself busy? Do you speak any Asian languages?

Check out Johor Baru, Malaysia - “My Home Malaysia Program” gives you a lot of options / cheap living and access to Singapore without the high cost!!


I was joking about the Philippines.


If you choose Thailand, Chiang Mai is a good choice. I’d happily retire there.


I’m biased towards Taiwan. It’s not super exciting like Thailand but it’s modern enough and comfortable place to live. The culture shock also shouldn’t be as big compared to Thailand and Mexico. It’s also safe for your wife.

Malaysia is super rapey, full of creeps.


You’re unlikely to get screwed over (land ownership etc) in Taiwan and you can easily travel to more interesting places. It’s got a lot going for it retirement wise.


Malaysia, Philippines, Mexico and Thailand are nice enough if you have enough money to shield you from the locals. All of them have extremely high crime rates and rampant social problems. So you can’t mingle with your neighbours to any meaningful extent, and if there’s any conflict, you’d better have either some friends with guns, political connections, or a very good lawyer. If you have any minor problems - eg, a burglary - don’t expect any help from the police. Overtly racist aggression is probable at least once or twice a year. That sort of thing can mess with your head.

Taiwan, broadly speaking, is safe and civilized. It might be slightly boring, but boring is good if you want to retire.

My suggestion would be to base yourself in Taiwan and travel around if you need a bit of excitement. A bit of kidnapping, food poisoning, or mugging, say.


Good questions for sure. My wife and I are both Caucasian. I speak, read and write Mandarin, with speaking and reading fluently, writing less so. We lived in Taiwan for 8 years previously (from 2000-2010 intermittently).

As for other skills, do you mean directly work related or something else? I am a classically trained guitarist, old-time/bluegrass fiddler, banjo and guitar player, and generally someone who would like to do music more than I do ( which is close to none right now). I also would like to get more serious with my Buddhism practice, which has very much fallen to the wayside these days.